Fabio Fognini's behavior seems to have taken a
dive along with the clay-court form which a year ago took him to
consecutive European titles on the ATP. But instead of defending his
trophies earned in 2013 at Stuttgart and Hamburg, the No. 15 looks set
for a ranking drop.
Fognini lost last weekend in the Stuttgart
semi-finals, hinting on Twitter than something unspecified in his
personal life might be bothering him. After carrying on to Hamburg this
week, his luck didn't change.
The title holder instead crashed out in the
second round to Serbian qualifier Filipo Krajinovic. with the Italian
calling his opponent a "zingaro" (gypsy) in defeat. While the word is
hardly an insult in Italian, political correctness took over, with shock
and outrage the rule of the moment among delicate English speakers on
It got so hot that the flippant and entertaining
Fognini had to apologize in Italian on Twitter just to calm the faux
storm: “I did not mean to offend anyone, I REPEAT: I was wrong! I know
Filip very well and anyone who does sport knows that sometimes it goes
beyond, saying nonsense (see the football).”
Fognini has been in the disciplinary spotlight
recently, drawing a healthy $27,000 fine at Wimbledon and adding to his
reputation as a bad boy by artfully cracking a racquet with his foot
after a 6-4, 6-0 loss to the 149th-ranked Krajinovic.